Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
7.1
Mixed Usage
7.6
Neutral Sound
7.1
Commute/Travel
8.3
Sports/Fitness
6.6
Office
6.0
Wireless Gaming
5.8
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Call
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Truly Wireless
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are great truly wireless sports headphones that have a good audio reproduction. They are versatile for a wide variety of music genres. These headphones are very stable and breathable, thanks to their ear-hook design and relatively compact in-ear fit. Unfortunately, they don’t create an airtight seal and will let noise seep into your audio, which won't be ideal for commuting. Their case is also quite bulky, though you shouldn’t have any problem fitting it in a gym bag. On the upside, the Powerbeats Pro are premium headphones that have one of the best battery lives for a truly wireless design.

Test Results
Design 7.9
Isolation 5.1
Microphone 6.5
Active Features 7.6
Connectivity 3.0
Pros
  • Very stable ear-hook design for sports.
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable in-ear fit.
  • Good control scheme.
Cons
  • Lower IP rating than other sports headphones.
  • Poor isolation performance.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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Black Powerbeats Pro
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Ivory Powerbeats Pro
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Moss Powerbeats Pro
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Navy Powerbeats Pro
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7.9

Design

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are very well-designed truly wireless headphones. They are comfortable for long listening sessions as they don’t enter your ear canal as deeply as other in-ear headphones. They are also very stable and breathable, which is great for sports. Their control scheme is easy to use and both earpieces have all the controls, which is very convenient. The Powerbeats Pro are stylish truly wireless in-ears, but their charging case is quite bulky compared to similar headphones.

Style

The Powerbeats Pro are fairly similar in style to the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless, but in a truly wireless format. They also have a slightly sleeker design. They look like sports headphones, thanks to the ear-hooks, while still being fairly stylish. They come in a few different color schemes, but only the all-black are available at the time of writing. You’ll be able to get them in navy, moss, and ivory colors.

7.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.05 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Powerbeats Pro are comfortable in-ears that can be worn for a while without feeling too much fatigue. They're lightweight, and the ear-hooks are easily malleable to help you find a steadier and more comfortable fit. They don’t enter the ear canal as deeply as other traditional in-ears, and they also come with a few different tip sizes to help you find the best fit. Additionally, even if they have buttons on the back of the buds, they're very sensitive and you won’t need to push the headphones inside your ears even more, which can hurt. However, if you have glasses with thick arms, you may have difficulty fitting the ear-hooks around your ears. Overall, these sports headphones are comfortable enough for most workouts or runs.

7.6 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Ease of use : Great
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : Voice enabled controls

The control scheme of the truly wireless Powerbeats Pro is very good. The Beats logo acts as a multi purpose button that gives you common functionalities. A single tap can play/pause your music or manage calls. You can also skip tracks or go backwards with double or triple taps, respectively. Also, you get a nice volume rocker on the top of the earbuds, which is easy to use. You can also trigger your device’s voice assistant with a long press of the multipurpose button. Additionally, all the commands can be triggered from either earpiece, which is great and makes them very easy to use. All controls are available and fully usable on Android devices, other than the ‘Hey Siri’ voice command. The Powerbeats also feature a smart pause, which will automatically start/stop your music when you take your headphones out or put them back in.

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C

Like most in-ear headphones, the Powerbeats Pro are very breathable. Even if they have a bulkier design than more straightforward in-ears, they don’t trap much heat inside your ears, which shouldn’t make you sweat more than usual when working out. This makes them a good option for sports.

8.8 Portability
L : 2.0 "
W : 1.6 "
H : 1.5 "
Volume : 5 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones are very portable but are slightly bulkier than most truly wireless in-ears. They are easy to carry around as they fit in your pockets or a gym bag easily. They also come with a nice hard case, but it's bulky.

7.5 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 3.2 "
W : 3.2 "
H : 1.8 "
Volume : 18 Cu. Inches

The Powerbeats Pro's hard case is good. It gives about 15 extra hours of battery life to the headphones, but you only have one battery indicator light, which doesn’t actually give you a good idea of the battery left. The case is also quite bulky. It can fit in larger pockets but since it's quite big, it will be visibly obvious. Also, the case doesn't completely close if you've made adjustments to the ear-hooks. However, the case is easy to carry around in a gym bag.

7.5 Build Quality

The Powerbeats Pro are well-built truly wireless headphones, but don’t quite feel on-par with other premium headphones like the Sennheiser Momentum True wireless or the B&O PLAY E8 2.0. They are made of plastic, which is lighter for sport activities. However, the ear-hooks feel a bit flimsy when moving them around and they are only rated IPX4, which is fairly disappointing for high-end sports headphones, although we don’t test this internally. On the upside, they feel nice and look like premium headphones. They're dense enough to survive a few drops without suffering too much physical damage.

8.0 Stability

These headphones are very stable and will be a great option for most sports. Thanks to the ear-hook design, it’s practically impossible to lose them during a run or a workout, even with heavy head movement. They don’t move much inside your ears too, which means you don’t always have to reposition them during your training.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

Their bass is extended, accurate, and nearly flawless, the mid-range is great, and the treble is good. The vocals and lead instruments will be accurately reproduced without being overshadowed by the bass. However, their treble range is slightly uneven, and some treble frequencies may sound overly sharp while some may lack detail and brightness. However, this shouldn’t be too audible for most. Overall, these headphones have a good sound profile that is versatile for a wide variety of music genres.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
-0.46 db
Treble Amount
:
-1.62 db
9.4 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.12 dB

Like most in-ear headphones, they have excellent frequency response consistency. Assuming the user is able to achieve a proper fit and an air-tight seal using the assortment of tips that come with the headphones, they should be able to get consistent bass and treble delivery every time they use the headphones.

9.6 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
0.62 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
0.29 dB
Mid-Bass
:
-0.09 dB
High-Bass
:
0.96 dB

The bass response of the Powerbeats Pro is remarkable. Their LFE (low-frequency extension) is down to 10Hz, which is excellent. This means these headphones are able to reproduce an adequate amount of the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music. The response throughout the range is virtually flawless and follows our target curve accurately. This means the bass will be clear and won’t be overly done.

8.7 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
1.74 dB
Low-Mid
:
0.01 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-0.57 dB
High-Mid
:
2.54 dB

The Powerbeats Pro have a great mid-range performance. The low-mid and mid-mid regions follow our target curve accurately. This results in an accurate reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. There’s a small 3dB bump in high-mid, which will add a bit of excess to the brightness and projection of vocals/leads, but this won’t be very noticeable.

7.9 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
3.52 dB
Low-Treble
:
1.98 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-2.04 dB
High-Treble
:
-3.96 dB

The treble range of the Powerbeats Pro is good, but the response is slightly uneven throughout the range. There’s a small 2dB overemphasis in the low-treble, which means vocals and leads might sound a bit too bright and piercing, especially on already bright tracks. However, there’s also a 5dB dip centered around 7kHz, which will negatively affect some sibilants (S and T sounds) around those frequencies.

7.4 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.65 db
Dips
:
1.31 db
8.7 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.13
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.86
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.28
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.45

The stereo imaging of the Powerbeats Pro is very good. The weighted group delay is at 0.13, which is very good. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response never crosses the audibility threshold, suggesting a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, note that these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

1.8 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
5.9
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.0

The soundstage is poor. Since creating a large and speaker-like soundstage is partially dependent on having a speaker-like pinna activation, and in-ear headphones bypass the pinna and don't interact with it, their soundstage will be perceived to be small and located inside the listener's head. Their closed-back design also means that their soundstage won't feel as open as open-back earbuds like the Apple AirPods 2 2019 and the Bose SoundSport Free.

8.1 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.237
WHD @ 100
:
0.077
5.1

Isolation

The overall isolation performance of the Powerbeats Pro is sub-par. These in-ear don’t have an ANC feature and don’t isolate well passively. Their fit doesn’t create an air-tight seal and a lot of ambient noise will seep into your audio. They won’t be ideal in public transit as they don’t block out much of the lower-end frequencies. However, this can be a good option for outdoor runners who want to remain aware of their surroundings, or athletes who want to hear feedback from their coach as long as your music isn't too loud. They can be a decent option in an office, but at high volumes they can get a bit leaky, which might bother surrounding colleagues. If you need more versatile headphones that can be used for commuting, check out the true wireless WF-1000XM3

4.0 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-9.38 dB
Bass
:
-0.43 dB
Mid
:
-6.18 dB
Treble
:
-21.95 dB

The noise isolation performance of the Powerbeats Pro is poor. These in-ears don’t have active noise cancelling and only passively isolate. They practically don’t block any lower-end frequencies which means they won’t be great in public transit since they don’t do anything against the deep rumble of engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they reduce ambient noise by about 6dB, which won’t be very noticeable. On the upside, they do a decent job against noises in the treble range, like sharp S and T sounds, and fan noises, like an A/C system, reducing the noise by about 22dB. For a better isolation performance for casual use, check out the noise cancelling Apple AirPods Pro instead.

7.4 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
37.32 dB

The leakage performance of the Powerbeats Pro is decent. They don’t leak in the bass and mid ranges, resulting in a very thin-sounding leakage, mostly composed of sharp sounds from the treble range. The overall level of the leakage is not very loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 37dB SPL, but it peaks at 65dB, which is quite loud and over the noise floor of an average office.

6.5

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The integrated microphone of the Beats Powerbeats Pro is mediocre. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic sounds relatively thin, noticeably muffled, and lacking in detail, but will still be fairly intelligible. However, the mic struggles to fully separate speech from background noise in loud situations, like a subway station.

6.5 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
193.04 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.45 dB
HFE
:
3368.2 Hz
Weighted THD
:
32.155
Gain
:
37.57 dB

The recording quality of the integrated microphone is mediocre. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 193Hz means speech recorded/transmitted with this mic sounds noticeably thin. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 3.4kHz results in speech that lacks detail and is noticeably muffled. However, this is a limitation of the Bluetooth protocol and most Bluetooth microphones will perform similarly.

6.4 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
16.8 dB

The integrated microphone has a sub-par noise handling performance. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 17dB, indicating that it's best suited for quiet and moderately loud environments, but it may struggle to fully separate speech from background noise in loud situations like a subway station.

7.6

Active Features

The Beats Powerbeats Pro have great battery life and have a nice interface on iOS devices. We measured over 11 hours of battery life, which is over the 9 hours that were advertised. This should last you a good amount of workouts or even for a full work day. They are also very quick to charge, taking less than an hour. However, you can’t customize their sound profile since they don’t have an actual companion app, which is slightly disappointing.

7.8 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
:
11.4 hrs
Additional Charges
:
1
Total Battery Life
:
22.8 hrs
Charge Time
:
0.7 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
Standby mode
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
No
Charging Port : Lightning

The battery life of the Powerbeats Pro is great. We’ve measured over 11 hours of continuous playback on a single charge and this could even last you for a full work day, which is considerably longer than other truly wireless headphones we've tested. These headphones also took less than an hour to charge fully, which is amazing. Thanks to their case, you can get up to 24 hours of total playtime according to the specs sheet. They also automatically enter a standby mode when being idle for a while, but we couldn’t accurately measure the duration of the timer. Additionally, like the Apple AirPods 2, there is no master earbud, meaning you can put either the left or the right bud in the charging case and use the other one by itself.

5.5 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : Yes
Android : No
macOS : Yes
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
No
ANC control
:
No
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
No
Playback control
:
No
Button Mapping : No
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones don’t have an app per se, but iOS has a built-in interface for the Powerbeats Pro, just like with the Apple AirPods 2. It displays the battery status of the buds and the case, but this isn’t available on Android. This interface will pop up when syncing the Powerbeats Pro to an Apple device. However, you can’t remap controls like you can with the AirPods 2. On MacOS, you can also see the battery life information and connect via Bluetooth, but that’s about it.

3.0

Connectivity

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are fairly straightforward Bluetooth truly wireless in-ears. They have a very good wireless range and come with a charging case that gives additional charges. They also take advantage of the H1 chip available on iOS devices for slightly better performance, but our current testing procedure couldn’t measure this. While they have pretty average latency for Bluetooth headphones, your experience could vary and you most likely won't notice any significant delay when using an iOS device.

7.2 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
5.0+H1 chip
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
Line of Sight Range
:
209 ft
Default Latency
:
183 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

These Bluetooth-only headphones support version 5.0 and also take advantage of the H1 chip on iOS devices. This makes pairing a lot easier and you might even experience better results. Unfortunately, they can’t be paired with multiple devices simultaneously, but have a very easy and quick pairing procedure even if they don’t support NFC, even with Android devices.

The Powerbeats Pro’s latency is about average for Bluetooth headphones. With 183ms of delay, they might not be the ideal choice for watching video content. However, our testing rig doesn’t take advantage of the H1 chip, which means your experience may be better on an iOS device.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
Detachable : N/A
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A
Wired Latency
:
N/A

These headphones can’t be used wired, as expected for truly wireless headphones.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
:
No
Xbox One Wired USB
:
No
Xbox One Wireless
:
No
2.2 Base/Dock
Type
:
Charging Case
USB Input
:
No
Line In
:
No
Line Out
:
No
Optical Input
:
No
RCA Input
:
No
Dock Charging
:
Yes
Power Supply
:
Lightning

The Powerbeats Pro come with a hard charging case that gives about 15 extra hours of battery life according to the specs sheet. The case doesn’t have any inputs and has to be charged with a Lightning cable, which is disappointing as a USB-C would have been better for most.

In the box

  • Beats Powerbeats Pro headphones
  • 4x tip options
  • Hard charging case
  • USB-to-Lightning charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are great sports headphones that set themselves apart by their very stylish design, good audio reproduction, and great battery life. There aren’t many truly wireless headphones with an ear-hook design too. Unfortunately, they don’t create a very good air-tight seal and won’t isolate against ambient noise well. See our suggestions for the best true wireless earbuds, the best Bluetooth earbuds, and the best wireless headphones for working out.

Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are slightly better headphones than the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless. The Beats have an easier to use control scheme, and their ear-hook design is more stable for sports. Additionally, they have a noticeably better battery life on a single charge and have better wireless range. On the other hand, some may prefer the earbud fit of the Bose, which doesn’t enter your ear canal as deeply. Also, even if their case is quite bulkier, it's easier to carry around than the Beats’ case. The Bose are open-back headphones, which mean they barely isolate against ambient noise, but even the closed-back Powerbeats aren’t great in that regard.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WF-1000XM3 are better everyday true wireless headphones, while the Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless will be the better option for sports. The XM3s have decent isolation performance, which is good for commuting, while the Powerbeats Pro are one of the most stable sports headphones we’ve reviewed so far thanks to their ear-hook design. The Powerbeats Pro are also a bit more comfortable and have volume control, which the Sonys are lacking. They also have an impressive 11-hour battery life, which is noticeably longer than the XM3.

Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro and the Jabra Elite Active 65t Truly Wireless are both great sports headphones, and each model is better in different categories. The ear-hook design of the Powerbeats Pro is more stable for sports and we also found them to be more comfortable. The Powerbeats also have one of the best battery lives for truly wireless headphones. On the other hand, the Elite Active 65t have an airtight fit that blocks a good amount of ambient noise, which the Powerbeats don’t do. If you’re looking for very stable headphones for sports, get the Powerbeats, but if you’re looking for sports headphones that can be versatile in everyday usage, the Jabra Elite Active 65t might be a better option thanks to their better passive isolation.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless have better sound reproduction than the Apple AirPods Pro. They also have a better control scheme, great battery life, and a more sports-friendly ear-hook design. On the other hand, the Apple feel a bit more premium, have significantly better noise isolation thanks to their ANC, and a much smaller and more portable design that still feels just as stable in the ear.

Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro Truly Wireless' earhook design makes them slightly better for sports use than the Jabra Elite 75t Truly Wireless. While they both have a well-balanced sound profile, the Powerbeats are slightly more neutral while the Elite 75t are a bit more excited sounding. They will likely both be good for use at the gym, but the Powerbeats will handle more strenuous workouts thanks to their more stable earhook fit. The Powerbeats also have a better single battery life of 11.4 hours, but the Jabra get more charges from their case. The Jabra also isolate sound much better, and their app offers a graphic EQ, which the Beats doesn't have.

Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are better headphones than the Apple AirPods 2 Truly Wireless 2019. They are more geared towards sports, thanks to their very stable ear-hook design, and their audio quality is better. They have noticeably more bass thanks to their closed-back design. They have more than twice the battery life of the Apple headphones on a single charge, although the Apple case holds more additional charges. The Powerbeats Pro also have a very bulky case that isn’t as portable as the Apple case. However, the Powerbeats have a better and more complete control scheme with volume control.

Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless
Unavailable
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are practically identical to the Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless, but in a truly wireless design. Both headphones also have a very similar sound profile and have about the same battery life. However, the Powerbeats Pro have a case that gives you about 15 more hours wherever you are. The fit of the Powerbeats Pro is also a bit more comfortable than the Powerbeats3. If you don’t really need the truly wireless design, than the Powerbeats3 might offer better value.

Beats BeatsX Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Beats Powerbeats Pro are slightly better sports headphones than the Beats BeatsX Wireless thanks to the very stable ear-hook design. They are also noticeably more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions. Both headphones sound very similar and most people won’t notice the difference. However, the BeatsX provide a better airtight fit, which isolates better against ambient noise. On the other hand, you get about twice the battery life on the Powerbeats Pro, which is very impressive for truly wireless headphones.

+ Show more
7.1 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. The Powerbeats Pro are great sports headphones thanks to their stable ear-hook design. They also have good audio reproduction with a very accurate bass and mid-range. They’ll be versatile for most music genres and most people should be satisfied with their audio quality. However, they don’t create an air-tight seal, which means they have poor isolation performance. They won’t be ideal for commuting or at the office since they don’t block out ambient noise well. Also, like most Bluetooth headphones, they won’t be ideal for watching TV or gaming due to their latency.

7.6 Neutral Sound

Good for neutral listening. They have a good audio reproduction with an extended, powerful, and adequate bass response, a very well-balanced mid-range, and a good treble. They are one of the best sounding in-ear headphones we’ve measured so far, but their in-ear design won’t be ideal for neutral listeners who care about soundstage. On the upside, they are a very good option if you want to enjoy your tracks on the go with fidelity.

7.1 Commute/Travel

Acceptable for commuting. The Powerbeats Pro are comfortable enough for your daily commute and you’ll have enough battery life for long trips as well. However, even if they are very portable and easy to carry around, these headphones aren’t the best option for your commute since they don’t do a good at isolating against ambient noise. They won’t block out the deep rumble of a bus engine and will let a lot of noise seep into your audio.

8.3 Sports/Fitness

Great for sports. These headphones are designed for physical activity. Their ear-hook design is very stable and doesn’t move around during intense sports. Like most in-ears, they are also very breathable and you shouldn’t sweat more than usual when wearing them during your workouts. They have nice physical controls that are easy to use, even when being active. They are easy to carry around but their case is a bit bulky, though this shouldn’t be a problem if you put it in a gym bag.

6.6 Office

Decent for the office. They have one of the longest battery life for truly wireless headphones we’ve measured yet and they are quite comfortable to wear for long listening sessions. Unfortunately, they don’t isolate well against ambient chatter and they can become a bit leaky at very high volumes. However, this shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t blast your music.

6.0 Wireless Gaming

Sub-par for gaming. These headphones were not designed for this use. Their latency is going to be too high for video games and their microphone won’t be suitable for online multiplayer games. The Powerbeats Pro shouldn’t be used for gaming.

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